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South L.A.: London's Future

South London or South L.A.? Reporting on a drive-by murder in London's West Croydon neighborhood, the Croydon Guardian today quoted former South Los Angeles resident Dion Gibbs, 23, as saying the shooting of his friend was "just like L.A." Gibbs described the attack as something he thought he'd left behind in the States. "It is like the problems with the Bloods and the Crips," he said, "and pretty soon England is going to be facing the same [sort] of trouble."

The murder was another reminder that Britain is no longer the postcard country of rolling green hills, polite bus queues and helpful bobbies. Most alarming to Britons is the growing number of firearms being used -- especially by youths 18 and under -- in robberies and to settle scores, something unheard of only 20 years ago. The solution  to this copycat behavior is one thing L.A. has yet to discover -- or export.


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